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Michael Jordan Praises Westbrook’s ‘Sense of Loyalty’

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Michael Jordan praised Russell Westbrook for his “sense of loyalty” in his speech inducting the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Thursday in Oklahoma City.

“Another thing you guys should be proud of is the sense of loyalty this kid has shown,” Jordan said as the crowd burst into an extended cheer.

Following the departure of Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors in July, Westbrook responded by signing an extension with the Thunder in August.

“He could’ve easily come to Charlotte,” Jordan said, smiling, “But he decided to stay here in Oklahoma. I’m not here to try and bash anybody that’s not here. Everybody has a choice. I’m not saying everybody doesn’t have a choice. But when I saw he chose to stay in Oklahoma I was so proud, and as Clay [Bennett] knows and Russ know, I texted him to show a sense of respect.”

Source: Royce Young of ESPN

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Sources: Luka Doncic Declares for 2018 NBA Draft

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Potential No. 1 overall pick Luka Doncic of Real Madrid has declared for the 2018 NBA draft, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Doncic, 19, submitted draft paperwork this week to formally enter his name, league sources said. Doncic is arguably the most decorated European player to make a jump to the NBA, a wunderkind who’s been playing in the EuroLeague since 2015. He is currently leading Real Madrid in the EuroLeague playoffs, averaging 14.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists this season.

The 6-foot-7 Doncic has the ability to play multiple positions, from being a primary ball-handler to shooting and playmaking off the ball. His season in Europe could continue into late May or June. NBA executives have long been intrigued by Doncic’s potential stardom, and several are continuing to make scouting trips for him.

Doncic, born in Slovenia, has played for Real Madrid since joining its junior team in 2014.

Source: Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports

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Sources: David Fizdale, Ettore Messina to Interview for Hornets Head Coaching Job

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San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina and former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale are set to interview for the Charlotte Hornets head-coaching job in the coming days, league sources told ESPN.

Messina and Fizdale are considered two of new Charlotte GM Mitch Kupchak’s top candidates to replace Steve Clifford, league sources said.

Fizdale has interviewed for openings with the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Report: NBA Fines Wizards’ Markieff Morris, Celtics’ Marcus Morris

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The NBA has fined Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris and twin brother Marcus Morris of the Boston Celtics for their roles in separate incidents during playoff games.

Markieff Morris has been fined $25,000 by the NBA on Saturday for attempting to escalate an altercation and pushing an official during a game against Toronto on Friday night. Morris shoved official Ken Mauer aside when Morris and Toronto’s OG Anunoby had to be separated after a near-fight that drew other players less than three minutes into the Wizards’ 122-103 victory.

Meanwhile, Marcus Morris was also docked $15,000 for criticizing officials after the Celtics’ 116-92 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. He was called for a technical foul in the third and was critical of the officiating after the game.

Sources: NBA

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